WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — When you think of high school sports, you probably don’t think about racing; especially here in the District. But that hasn’t stopped one African-American student who has a need for speed.
Through a diversity program for NASCAR, he is following his dreams.
“When you put on the helmet it doesn’t matter what color you are, it’s whether you can drive or not,” Rajah Caruth said.
Caruth is a junior at The School Without Walls. You might ask yourself, how did this D.C. native become obsessed with race cars?
Caruth said it started when he saw the movie “Cars” as a kid. It quickly turned to arcades.
“(We would) go to Chuckie Cheese, that’s the only reason I would go,” Caruth said. “Just to sit on the NASCAR game.”
After that it was racing go karts. These days he competes with a NASCAR simulator.
Caruth’s favorite driver is Darrel “Bubba” Wallace. Wallace got started in NASCAR through the association’s Drive for Diversity program. Part of the diversity program is youth development.
In March, Rajah got invited to Moorseville, North Carolina to compete in the youth driver combine.
“They looked at not only how you raced on the tracks, but how you hold yourself through shop tours and meeting people,” Caruth said.
It’s a competition and if Rajah gets picked he will become a member of the Drive for Diversity team’s youth program. That would include racing in the Summer Shootout in Charlotte, North Carolina. One step closer to his hero.
When asked if he was nervous about getting picked, he just smiled and confidently said, “No.”
That’s the answer you’d expect from Caruth. A calm cool, confidence from a D.C. kid with NASCAR ambitions.